Here’s a look at today’s headlines:
The Youth Conservation Corps is cleaning up Fort Bayard National Landmark. Roughly ten volunteers have been weed-eating, mowing and cleaning the grass and brush to improve the look of the area and also to help prevent a fire destroying the area. They are also looking for a flat spot for a bench for visitors to the site. The youth were brought on to establish trails by the old hospital foundation. They are also doing research for tours, and have found some old foundations, including what they believe is the first post office.
Catron County is about to lose funding for critical emergency alert features that were installed in the streams and creeks after the flooding in September 2013. The gauges, originally installed courtesy of funding from FEMA, are water flow sensors which alert the Sheriff, the County Emergency Manager, and other public protection personnel in the area that a flash flood is on its way so the Catwalk can be evacuated and down-stream residents can be alerted. The gauges will remain in place until the fall, but funding to monitor these water flow sensors will run out June 29th.
US Senator Tom Udall joined the Senate in voting 85-13 to support our troops, military bases, and national defense programs in New Mexico and across the country. The annual National Defense Authorization Act is a policy bill that directs the progress of $543 billion in national defense programs. This year’s bill includes essential provisions that will strengthen New Mexico’s military bases and defense programs carried out at its federal installations – such as nuclear weapons programs and cleanup at Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories, investments in personnel and research at the Air Force Research Laboratory, and operations at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.
Senator Udall also, on a conference call with reporters yesterday, said the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando exposed a loophole that must be closed that allows known or suspected terrorists to buy firearms. The “Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act” would allow the Attorney General to deny the transfer or sale of firearms to known and suspected terrorists. Udall also discussed Senate passage of a final agreement on landmark bipartisan reform of the nation’s broken chemical safety law. The President is expected to sign it into law soon, meaning that for the first time in 40 years the United Stated will have a working chemical safety program.